Online slots are exceptionally popular, and there is no other game in the online casino world that gets more attention. Because there are thousands of games to choose from, however, it can be tricky at best to figure out what you like on your own by simple trial and error. Instead of just trying different things and possibly never finding something you like before you simply give up, we have some things for you to consider ahead of time that will make your choices a lot easier and give you much better chances of finding games that you love.
Categorizing Your Experience
The very first thing to think about is what kind of experience you want to have. For example, some slot games are based on being able to sit back, relax and just unwind a little while. On the other hand, there are slots that are built around an action-packed experience where you’re going to feel like you’re on the edge of your seat the entire time. Not everyone likes the same things, and the core of this is the type of experience you would prefer to have. Everything else about the games you choose must be kept in context with the type of experience you’re looking for and how the different attributes of games will affect your experience.
Visual Appeal and Graphics
Some people might think it’s somewhat superficial that one of the first things we’re looking at is how the games are actually presented in terms of graphics and visuals. However, these things greatly affect your overall experience, and with so many different graphical styles out there, it’s a critical part of your decision.
Some companies have games that usually fit one type of visual style. For example, with BetSoft’s Slots3 line of games, they all have very high-quality, 3D graphics. The visuals in this game are definitely impressive, and they contribute to the experience by adding a lot of action and detail to what you’re looking at. If you like one of their games, you’re likely to be a fan of more of them, but because the play styles can vary quite a bit from one to another, it’s not really as simple as that for most players.
Other companies, like NetEnt or Microgaming, will use much different styles of graphics for different games. This allows them to adapt the graphical style of the game to the theme and feel of the slot. You can have 3D graphics, abstract visuals, hand-drawn animation and other visual motifs that stand out as being very fitting for the game itself instead of a one-size-fits-all type of situation. This makes it much easier for players to find a visual style that really appeals to them and seek out other games that have the same visual style, since that means the games will also be likely to have the same type of gameplay and features.
Volatility and Play Style
Volatility is a key indicator of the play style of an online slot. Whenever the volatility is low, you’re getting more frequent small and medium payouts without many major swings. However, if the volatility is high, then you’ll get fewer pays on the lower end with bigger wins when you do hit features and other payouts. Some players just naturally prefer one type of play over the other, and others will want to pick and choose the play style of the games they enjoy based on their current mood.
One problem with judging games based on volatility is that you can’t always tell just by looking at a game what its overall level of volatility is. While we cover the volatility of the games that we review on this site, there are thousands of titles out there, and you might be interested in some that we haven’t reviewed. Thankfully, a quick look at the bonus features and the structure of the pay table can often give you a lot of insight into what play style a game has to offer.
Analyzing Features and Pay Tables
If you’re going to look at a pay table and feature set to try to figure out the volatility and the effects on the play style of an online slot, then the key thing to look for is how the very top of the pay scale is affected. If the top prizes are really high compared to the other payouts, then that’s the number one sign that a game has a higher volatility. The same goes for bonus features; if a ton of value is tied up in a bonus feature that will rarely trigger, then you’re definitely dealing with a game that has at least a medium volatility, if not higher.
For an example of this, consider a game with a top payout of 15,000x where the second-highest win is 2,000x, and the third-highest win is 750x. A whole love of value is tied up in the top end of the pay scale here with a massive dip from the largest prize to the second- and third-largest pays. On the other hand, what if you have a game with top payouts of 500x, 400x and 350x, and there is an avalanche feature that gives you chances of hitting multiple wins on the same spin. This second game shows a more balanced pay table and features that indicate a smoother experience with fewer big swings. Therefore, it almost certainly has a lower level of volatility.
It’s worth noting that this is why progressive jackpot games almost always have a high volatility because so much value is tied up in a very large prize that is particularly difficult to win.
Picking and Choosing Bonus Features
The last thing we’re going to look at is the type of bonus features that a game has available. The way to think about the different features is how they add value to the game. A free spins bonus feature that requires you to hit three or more bonus symbols to activate it will add a lot of value to the game very infrequently. However, a wild multiplier that doubles the size of your win every single time you hit a winning combination that uses a wild will add a medium amount of value somewhat often. Finally, an avalanche feature or free re-spin feature that gives you a chance to win extra payouts after every winning spin will give you a small amount of extra value very often.
When features are viewed in this way, it’s easy to see how they affect the play style of the game and the volatility. These are the key things that will affect the type of experience you have, and that makes it much easier to pick out the type of features that you like in a game. In turn, this makes it fairly simple to decide if the features in any given game will work towards giving you the kind of experience you’re looking for.
Putting It All Together
The process that we’ve recommended here is all about helping you to get the kind of experience that you want by briefly analyzing the different parts of a slot. Because there are so many games out there, we have recommended a process that will help you to eliminate many of these games right away. That’s because we feel it will help you to get to the games that you will like the most much more quickly. If you stick to games that have a higher RTP within the genre of titles that you find that you like by using the process we have described above, then you will have a great time with solid winning chances.